mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
The San Francisco Chronicle does some good old-fashioned shoeleather reporting. 

Over the last decade, filings to the Internal Revenue Service reveal the nonprofit [Helpers Community Inc. — known until 2015 as Helpers of the Mentally Retarded] has done little charitable work while amassing millions of dollars in assets and donations and generously compensating [Joy] Bianchi, whose work includes attending red-carpet galas from Beverly Hills to Manhattan where she appears alongside celebrities such as Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow and Katy Perry.
Helpers’ mission statement defines its “most pressing and important goal” as supporting quality residential care for the developmentally disabled. But in the past 13 years, the charity has given nothing to residential programs. And for a six-year period from 2003 to 2008, Helpers gave nothing at all to any charitable cause, according to financial records.
Bianchi, meanwhile, has been paid far above the norm for directors of charities. With base compensation of $193,828 in 2015, Bianchi earned roughly $100,000 more than the CEOs of about two dozen similarly sized San Francisco human service nonprofits tracked by Charity Navigator, a leading national watchdog group. Bianchi earned an additional $29,074 in retirement and other deferred compensation that year.
What did Helpers do, back when it did anything?  I am not making this up.

Bianchi volunteered for Helpers as a teen in the 1950s, eventually joining the organization in the 1960s just as it opened its first residential care home. For roughly 40 years, money raised by the organization helped fund its group homes, which boasted lush drapery, crystal chandeliers and needlepoint-covered chairs. Helpers cared for a total of 33 residents, offering them craft-making workshops and lessons in etiquette and fine dining.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Me: Inside Llewyn Davies
Him: Long Black Veil
Him: John McCutcheon, "Kindergarten Wall" ("Of all that you learn here remember this the best: Don't hurt each other and clean up your mess")
Him: Leonard Cohen, "Everybody Knows"

Daughter: "The emotional whiplash over here is killing me."

Pumpkin, pecan pies done; rolls rising; wax beans snapped and blanched; turkey broth simmering; turkey salted and herbed; garlic dressing made. These tasks are distributed among the family, so I'm hoping nobody will be too exhausted to enjoy dinner.

To go: bake rolls, turkey; mash potatoes; warm wax beans in butter; toss salad. DEVOUR.

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate, and if you're looking for something global to be thankful for, Colombia and the FARC rebels have signed a peace treaty. This one doesn't have to be affirmed by referendum.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Believe me, I get it. But it's not as easy as just "moving to [insert country name]". Other countries have immigration laws, too, and you may not qualify, especially if you don't have STEM or medical qualifications.

Unless US expatriates are categorized as refugees (highly unlikely) you'll need to apply to the new country, and that process can take months to years.

If you think you'll need to go, get all the paperwork you'll need to file now, and realize that you'll be competing with thousands (at least) of other Americans who have decided to move on. We won't be any more welcome in other countries than we make their citizens. (Hint: not.)

And a side note for transpeople: Currently under Obama's policies you can get a passport showing your correct gender with a physician's statement saying 'you've had appropriate clinical treatment', and there's no requirement to have bottom surgery. This policy will almost certainly be reversed by the Trump administration, so apply for your passport now to get legal documentation of your gender. Many states require bottom surgery.

e: Recessional has an invaluable comment about Canadian immigration.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
It turns out Leonard Cohen actually died Monday, and the family kept it quiet until Thursday, presumably to mourn in private. That means he didn't have to deal with the election results. (Source: an interview with his biographer in the SF Chronicle.)

I read in the morning paper that Trump wants to ally with Russia and Assad to end the Syrian civil war, leaving Assad in power.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
New York Times article about an Indian entrepeneur who invented a cheaper way to make sanitary pads. The uplifting part is that he then focused on making the machine as cheap as possible so that cheap sanitary pads would spread through India; they are also spreading through other countries.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Pink Floyd is not at its best when monaural. (C/o Alexa, a.k.a. Amazon Echo)
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Cora Pearl and Achille Murat on horseback

This is famed courtesan Cora Pearl and Prince Achille Murat in an 1865 posed studio photograph. You will notice that Prince Achille's legs are nearly straight, and stretched forward of the saddle. Is this a French thing, or was it the proper seat all over Europe? And when did it change, do you know?

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 After great pain, a formal feeling comes – 
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs – 
The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’ 
And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’? 
The Feet, mechanical, go round – 
A Wooden way 
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought – 
Regardless grown, 
A Quartz contentment, like a stone – 
This is the Hour of Lead – 
Remembered, if outlived, 
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow – 
First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Yes, Dan'l Webster's dead — or, at least, they buried him. But every time there's a thunderstorm around Marshfield, they say you can hear his rolling voice in the hollows of the sky. And they say that if you go to his grave and speak loud and clear, "Dan'l Webster — Dan'l Webster!" the ground'll begin to shiver and the trees begin to shake. And after a while you'll hear a deep voice saying, "Neighbor, how stands the Union?" Then you better answer the Union stands as she stood, rock-bottomed and copper-sheathed, one and indivisible, or he's liable to rear right out of the ground. At least, that's what I was told when I was a youngster.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Salena Zito drove down U.S. 30, also known as the Lincoln Highway, to get in touch with "America's heartland".

Yet it remains the best route to America’s heartland, populated by voters whose moods elude most pundits in this election cycle. These are people disconnected from New York’s cosmopolitan pace or Washington’s political elites. They value small-town connections to family, community and livelihoods; they rarely consider moving, despite a lack of opportunity.

Here's what she didn't mention:  80% of Americans live in urban areas.  Quoting from an article on the 2010 census:

In 2010, a total of 80.7 percent of Americans lived in urban areas, up from 79 percent in 2000.  Conversely, 19.3 percent of the U.S. population lived in rural areas in 2010, down from 21 percent in 2000. At the same time, the population of urban areas grew by 12.1 percent, much faster than the country's growth rate of 9.7 percent from 2000 to 2010.

So, contrary to her narrative, these people are moving -- or, rather, the people she's interviewing don't, for obvious reasons, represent the entire historic populations of their towns.   

The idea comes down from Jefferson, the idea that the farmer is the true, unspoiled American that the rest of us should be inspired by.   It's a silly idea, and has been silly from Jefferson to today.   When pundits aren't laying down the law based on the people they know in the big coastal cities, they vacillate between sneering at everybody else and praising the people who lead the lives they don't understand.  (Helloo, David Brooks.)   

Smalltown, USA still exists, and people live there and enjoy it.  But it's not the real America, any more than New Hampshire is real America.  It's an America, but one that should be neither exalted nor despised.   Most of us live in the cities, and we've chosen to do so.   We're real, whether we're in Indianapolis or Charlotte or, yes, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or New York.

The lesbian Tejana in San Antonio is as real and true and representative as the middle-aged white guy in Chappell, Nebraska.  
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Dear Yulegoat,
Thank you for writing!  I hope you have fun.

First and foremost, I think that wonderful things happen when people write the fic they always wanted to see but never got.  I'm going to give suggestions and a few prompts, but if you think of something else that excites you, or that you've always wanted to write, please do!  I want to see your idfic, your superegofic, the thing you love writing.  Slash, femslash, het, poly, and gen are all great. 
I have the following squicks: bathroom stuff, omorashi, forced feeding, prolonged embarrassment, emotional abuse, sex with kids under 15, vore, explicitly described torture.  Avoid those, and I'll be happy.
Things I love to see: Victorian-style melodrama, masked balls, duels, repartee, detailed descriptions of food and of etiquette, swashbuckling, arranged marriage, historical AUs, enemies becoming lovers, dubcon.

Jean-Léon Gérôme, Duel after the Masquerade.   Just .... holy shit.  This is my id-painting.   The use of color is wonderful, the composition is wonderful ... who am I kidding.  It's a duel.   After a masquerade. ♥

There's only one possible set of prompts:  What happened?   How did this people get to this situation?  What happened next? If you'd rather reset this on a spaceship, underwater, in the 1920s, ... feel free.  Just keep the duel, in the snow. After the masquerade. 

18th Century Pirate RPF -  Anne Bonney, Mary Read.

Anne Bonney and Mary Read were too big for any fiction to contain them.  They were pirates.  They may well have been lovers.  They fought together, were captured together, and died apart.   They were the only two people who fought fiercely when their ship was taken.   Bonney commented to her lover, Calico Jack Rackham, "Had you fought like a man, you need not have been hang'd like a dog."   Both women "pleaded their bellies" (claimed to be pregnant) to postpone being hanged.  Mary Read died in prison of puerperal fever, and nobody knows what happened to Anne Bonney.

Note that I am *not* asking for the characters from Black Sails, and I'd prefer you not include canon from that show.
Knock yourself out.   Tell any story about those two ladies that sets your hair on fire.  Include as many other historical pirates as float your boat -- or none, if that's what you prefer.

Stalky and Co - Beetle, Stalky Corkran, M'Turk
I love these books so much I cannot be rational about them.   There is one single story about them as adults, which is M'Turk relating his id-fic about Stalky.  (It supposedly happened, but M'Turk does embellish when he finds it appropriate.)     Kipling said austerely that the headmasters stalked the bedrooms to ward off "beastliness", but it's well-established that the core three were supervised precisely as much as they found appropriate.
I will delightedly accept anything you want to write about these characters.  I will, however, nod knowingly at Stalky and M'Turk's possible adult relations, and I do mean adult.   If you prefer to write them as horny adolescents, please make them 16 or older.  And gen is fine, too! 

I note parenthetically that the title has an ampersand, damn it.
I hope you have a joyous Yuletide, have fun writing,  and that the gift you yourself receive is wonderful.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 I went to my new eye doctor, and we hit it off like the San Andreas Fault.  He is such a big ol' nerd that he has his gaming table (with some card set I didn't recognize) set up *in his office* so he and his office manager can chill, he hand-built the very attractive reception table out of stone, he was ecstatic that I recognized the Funko Pop of the Goblin King from Labyrinth immediately, and I introduced him to Randall Munroe (XKCD guy)'s What If?, to McCall's cosplay site with the wing pattern, and to Things I Won't Work With.   This is the call of my tribe:  Have you read this book?  And this?  And this?

Nice guy.  Did thorough eye exam.  Now I shall be glasses-free for two weeks, and I need glasses for both short and long vision.  Sigh.  (I have a pair of frames I adore, and I'm putting new lenses in them, and I don't have a backup.)

Also, as [personal profile] edenfalling  kindly warned me, the replacement Note 7s are already blowing up.  Or at least one did.  On an airplane.  Fortunately, parked on the ground.  I'm afraid that's that, and I'll be stuck with my Galaxy 7 Edge, which I do not love.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
  1. Happy birthday, [personal profile] oursin !
  2. I realized last month, after only forty (gasp) years of reading Georgette Heyer, what a "light seat" means in riding. Check me: a rider with a "light seat" is supporting their weight on their legs and/or leaping-horn, transmitting their weight down to the stirrups and allowing their legs to act as shock-absorbers, rather than resting their weight on the saddle and bumping up and down on the horse's back. Right?
  3. I called my husband "darling" in the supermarket Sunday. Am I right in thinking that outside the U.S. (and, for that matter, the Midwestern/Southern parts of the Midwest, for all I know) this would be weird or indecorous?
  4. Oh God, oh Montreal. My medical marijuana provider is no longer veiling its features with the scanty voile of medicine.
    What better way to start your weekend than a cannabis-themed brunch?
    This week we're putting our favorite brunch items on sale - infused coffee and tea mixes, honey, granola, almond butter, jam. Order by Thursday to take advantage of the sale price and have yours in time for next weekend!
I shudder to think of the guests at a marijuana brunch driving home.  The nasty thing about edibles is that (A) you can't predict when they'll hit and (B) you can't be confident of the dose and (C) you tend to eat too much because it hasn't hit yet.  Lather, rinse, repeat.   Pot in honey, almond butter, and jam, sounds especially prone to "Oh, just one more croissant" and then disaster.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
The Miscellaneous category is my jam.

Clue | Cluedo (Board Game) (3) ↑

Miss Scarlet (Clue - Board Game) Mrs. Peacock (Clue - Board Game) Mrs. White (Clue - Board Game)

Elizabeth Parker's Sampler

(for details on the sampler, click the More Information tab)

Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion... - Sandia Labs (4) ↑

Cindy (Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion... - Sandia Labs) Steve (Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion... - Sandia Labs) Jo (Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion... - Sandia Labs) Linda (Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion... - Sandia Labs)

Golden Age 1001 Nights Illustrations (4) ↑
'Tis little good to chase the deeds of magic - Thomas Mackenzie (Golden Age Illustrations) A lady's lover - Kay Nielson (Golden Age 1001 Nights Illustrations) The Story of Baba Abdallah - Virginia Sterrett (Golden Age 1001 Nights Illustrations) Youth on Horseback - Anton Pieck (Golden Age 1001 Nights Illustrations)

ICD-10 | International Classification of Diseases v10 (Anthropomorphic) (3) ↑

V91.07 – Burn due to water skis on fire (ICD-10) V95.43 – Spacecraft collision injuring occupant (ICD-10) Y92.241 – Injury at library (ICD-10)

It's going to be a good year out on the fringes.    I haven't looked through the mainstream categories yet, except:

In Theater, we've got Angels in America, Diary of a Provincial Lady (there's a play?), Doctor Faustus, Don Carlos, Faust, An Ideal Husband, Iolanthe, Road Show (Sondheim, never made it to Broadway for good reason), Twelfth Night, and Eugene Onegin.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
From the Hollywood Reporter:

NBC Turning 'Oliver Twist' Into Contemporary Female-Driven Procedural (Exclusive)

The drama, which has received a script commitment, is described as a modern take on Dickens' second novel that was originally published as a serial in the 1830s. Twist's logline is as follows: A sexy contemporary take on Oliver Twist with a struggling 20-something female (Twist) who finally finds a true sense of family in a strange group of talented outcasts who use their unique skills to take down wealthy criminals.

Or, in other words, Leverage. But with Dickens syrup on top.  
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 Apparently my brand-new phone, a luxury I treated myself to on Saturday after a week of waiting for a new battery for a dead phone, is in the habit of exploding and is about to be recalled.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 Noms are 9 Sep - 16 Sep.

Am thinking about my noms.   I have some things I'm toying with.
  • Duel after the Masquerade. (definite)  I mean, holy shit.  My favorite story painting ever.
  • Wanderer Above The Sea of Fog.   I am amused to note that autocomplete caught "romantic man on cliff".  The problem is that all the action would be in the request: there isn't a plot, there's just a person.
  • "Locksley Hall" from the woman's point of view.
  • Anne Bonney/Mary Read femslash.
More thinking to come.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
How to really, REALLY piss off the FDA

Theranos purported to be a company that could do bloodwork from a pinprick rather than from IV blood draws. This claim earned them billions of dollars in VC and got its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, who dropped out of Harvard to pursue her idea, on the cover of multiple magazines. As of last fall, she was (on paper) worth $4.5 billion.

The only problem is, Theranos’ technology didn’t work. At all. Last fall Medicaid reviewed the lab results for warfarin testing . This test determines whether the blood thinner you’re taking will make you bleed to death. It’s kind of a crucial test that way. All 81 results Medicare reviewed were wrong. Every single one.

The FDA formal letter revoking Theranos’ certification is available at the New York Times. It is a thing of beauty.
Just a sample for your delight:

... The April 1, 2016 letter accompanying the second submission states that "documentation explains how the laboratory came to its conclusions regarding patient outcomes (Ex JJ, Tab 3A)".  However, Ex JJ, Tab 3A simply states: "Patient Impact: Based on PT investigation, no patient impact," and does not say how the laboratory came to its conclusions that no patients were affected.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Cheerful Uber driver, picking me up: "Have you had your ten thousand steps today?"
Me: "I'm disabled."
Him: "But you still need to exercise!"

Turns out he was a newly-certified personal trainer. I commented that as the disability came on, I'd been very grateful for a trainer who knew my limitations.

Cheerful driver: "You still need to do perfect reps! Just at 75% intensity!"

Very glad he's not *my* trainer.


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December 2016

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